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Nigerian Billionaire Antonio Deinde Fernandez is Dead

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Deinde Fernadez
Antonio Oladeinde Fernandez, Nigerian billionaire and gemstone tycoon passes on at age 79.

He passed away on Tuesday 1st September 2015 in Belgium. His friend, CEO of Ovation Magazine Dele Momodu, as well as his daughter, Abimbola Fernadez made the announcement via social media.

Fernadez with daughter Abimbola

Fernadez with daughter Abimbola

Fernadez, born in 1936, was one of Africa’s richest men, with a reported networth of $8.7 billion. He owned diamond and gold mines in the Central African Republic (CAR), and was Permanent Representative of CAR to the United Nations.

Tributes on Social Media

Daddy’s girl for life. I just lost my hero. Only God is holding me together right now.

A photo posted by H.I.H Abimbola Fernandez (@hiiibim) on

YEMOJA the ocean-going yacht was owned by AMBASSADOR CHIEF ANTONIO OLADEINDE FERNANDEZ… A photo posted by DELE MOMODU (@delemomoduovation) on

71 Comments

  1. Wale

    September 2, 2015 at 2:33 am

    Nigeria’s original modern billionaire. Classy man. He embraced his yoruba heritage shamelessly; he was an astute businessman and he lived well. Someone I really admired. His children have just become bloody wealthy, I am sure they will miss him all the same.

    • Ona

      September 2, 2015 at 4:50 am

      He’s a proud yoruba? Why are his names spanish? Im not beinf cheeky, just curious.

    • Thatgidigirl

      September 2, 2015 at 7:24 am

      Portugese not Spanish….a handful of yoruba families bear Portuguese last names, not so sure of the reason same as some Brazilians and carribeans bearing Yoruba names.
      Deinde Fernandez was a very respectable man, someone I admired so much. His wealth is hard to criticise because it was gotten through hardwork and brains, and his family lived a classy and calm life irrespective of his stupendous wealth. I pray God gives them the strength to bear this huge loss.

    • honey

      September 2, 2015 at 8:21 am

      Did he name himself????

    • RIFF RAFF

      September 2, 2015 at 8:58 am

      Probably a descendant of Brazilian freed slaves who returned to motherland. Or maybe a descendant of portuguese merchants (mostly mulatto) who traded along the coast before finally settling among the locals.

    • FasholasLover

      September 2, 2015 at 10:00 am

      Old money. Including selling arms etc etc. Deinde’s money was a cripple. It wasn’t about upping and taking flight. Meaning: Too much money. Told stories of his exploits/escapades including his many women “Erelu for one plus having his Oyinbo chef flown to Nigeria to learn how to make yoruba Asaro aka yam pottage.

      RIP.

    • justanothergirl

      September 2, 2015 at 11:26 am

      Probably a descedant of freed afro brazilian slaves who were given their masters names and carried them down the line Cardoso/Da Silva etc are just some other Nigerians family surnames with Portoguese origins or something along those lines who resettled back in Nigeria. Just like most Sierra Leoneans Creoles/Krios who do not speak a word of Yoruba bear Yoruba middle names because they were descendend from freed slaves of Nigerian origin who were resettled in Freetown as opposed to Lagos

    • Jebunn

      September 2, 2015 at 6:20 pm

      His name is Fernandez because his ancestors were in the Slave Trade int he Americas and were some of the few who chose to return back home to Africa. They settled in the Lagos.. Isn’t this stuff taught in Nigerian schools? I haven’t been there in a while..

    • Vikk

      September 2, 2015 at 7:00 pm

      Some of y’all Nigerians need to educate yourself about the colonization and history of Nigeria before displaying your ignorance on this platform

    • Soraya

      September 3, 2015 at 7:30 pm

      @Ona, he was descended from former slaves who returned from Brazil in the 19th century and settled in Lagos in the 19th century.

    • Jaded

      September 2, 2015 at 11:43 am

      Wait is it true he got his wealth from mamiwater? Thats the gist we heard many many years ago

    • nene

      September 2, 2015 at 1:28 pm

      his yacht is named yemoja. how does an ambassador acquire such wealth? hmmn

    • S!

      September 2, 2015 at 9:34 pm

      Didn’t you also read he was a business man dealing in gemstones? Be asking stupid questions.

    • Honey

      September 3, 2015 at 3:40 am

      Bibire ose fowora oti daju *in sunny ade’s voice* . Such money, man of pedigree n class known around the world. True Nigerian n Yoruba to d core. Rest in peace

  2. fleur

    September 2, 2015 at 2:38 am

    Just curious as to why in death, the tribute I am reading is about his yatch. I am sure he did great deeds for humanity and will be missed by all those that benefitted from him. I implore his friends to share this type of information because not many Nigerians really know of this Nigerian who held so much sway in another African country!!

    • Mz Socially Awkward...

      September 2, 2015 at 11:43 am

      Are you minding Dele Momodu??? Does the man have sense?

    • Professor X

      September 20, 2015 at 1:14 am

      I couldn’t agree more. What kinda crap?? LOL. Na the ovation way

    • Observer

      September 16, 2015 at 9:12 pm

      Momodu is a well known sycophant known for trying to attach himself to the rich and famous. Only he could come up with such materialistic and pathetic stuff at a sad time like this.

  3. Lilo

    September 2, 2015 at 2:40 am

    Condolensceces to Bimbola. May his soul rest in peace. That’s a cheap looking boat sha….yatch ko, titanic ni

    • toyosi

      September 2, 2015 at 9:40 am

      Aunty/Uncle , Biko, where is your own.

    • Shyne

      September 2, 2015 at 6:07 pm

      Lilo,
      I rarely post comment on stuffs like this, but you compelled me. You most definitely have no idea who this man was when he was alive. When it comes to material stuff, he epitomized creme de la creme! He bought “YEMOJA” when owning yacht was a rarity. Not sure you know what a yacht is. You might need to read up on Antonio Oladehinde Fernandez. Educate yourself!

    • Jebunn

      September 2, 2015 at 6:22 pm

      Can you afford even one and you say it’s cheap.. the things small people say to make themselves feel better

  4. Self-Sufficient

    September 2, 2015 at 2:59 am

    Fare the well, Antonio Fernandez.

  5. Ayoka

    September 2, 2015 at 3:56 am

    RIP Chief Fernandez. I hope he left a will.

  6. Amh

    September 2, 2015 at 4:11 am

    Lilo thats a mega yatch. Not the canoe used for fishing in your village. Thats his yatch yemoja. Hes been a billionaire for decades. Pls ask your mum to tell you who Fernandez is. Not this social media millionaire that calls themselves billionaire including their tacky wives. Rip good man. I remember sunny ades song. Of erelu hmmm. Hope his family can bear his loss.

  7. otitoloju

    September 2, 2015 at 4:57 am

    fleur Dehinde Fernadez has bin around for as long bin around mean to you.

  8. sucre

    September 2, 2015 at 6:52 am

    This Dele Momodu is just an older male version of Toke Makinwa, everywhere you go

    • concerned

      September 2, 2015 at 10:24 pm

      I tell you

  9. Tari

    September 2, 2015 at 7:26 am

    Dele Momodu. Famzer for life!!

  10. mabel

    September 2, 2015 at 8:43 am

    Some we know, some we don’t know. Some selling sugar, salt, cement etc we know. Some we definitely don’t know. I’m sure the people in CAR will miss him more as he affected their lives. Nigerians busy famzing. “Ask your mom about him” why? Is he the one that constructed 3rd mainland bridge? Biko shift. RIP Mr Antonio Fernandez. My God give your FAMILY the fortitude to bear this loss. Plus the people of CAR.

  11. miss max

    September 2, 2015 at 9:21 am

    Thatgidigirl and Ona, Yorubas with Portuguese names are those whose ancestors were returnee slaves. You find them in Lagos mostly and the Fernandez-es were one of such.

  12. lolarae

    September 2, 2015 at 9:43 am

    Long before the Dangotes, Otedolas and Adenugas
    Fernandez, MKO Abiola and Akande were the billionaires of Africa
    Fernandez led this pack as till today no billionaire has surpassed his class
    Hes the first Nigerian and 5th black man to own a private jet
    First African to own an island, yacht
    A man of high class anywhere he ate the restaurants had to be closed down to him

    on the African continent he was a titan
    Even though unapolgetically Yoruba and Nigerian
    -He was appointed the Permanent Representative of Central African Republic (CAR) at the United Nations in 1997,
    -Fernandez is said to have interests in the CAR’s oil industry (at a time, he was the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Central African Republic). That does not include his bauxite (for aluminum) exports, gold mines (in Angola) and diamonds pits. He owns Petro Inett, an oil company. Petro Inett is just one of them. He also has shares in View, Sandcat Petroleum, Sanantonio, Goldfields, Voguehope, Grantdalem Inuola, Sandcat Goldfields,, Woods and Petro Inett Equatorial Guinea.

    -Before then, he had served as the Special Adviser to the President of Mozambique on International Economic Matters and from 1992-1995, he was the Ambassador-at-Large for the Republic of Togo and Angola.

    -He was also once the Consul for Benin Republic (then Republic of Dahomey) (1966), made the Economic Advisor to the Angolan Government in 1982 (just for perspective, only Nigeria produces more oil than Angola in Africa, shey you gerrit?). To be specific, he was a long-time adviser to President José Eduardo dos Santos of Angola (he’s been ruling since 1975).

    In 1984, he was the Ambassador and Deputy Permanent Representative of Mozambique to the United Nations. At a point, he was a Deputy Minister of Finance in Swaziland.

    Hes the Quintessential Yoruba billionaire who flew the flag of the race around
    as for the brokeass saying his yacht looks cheap when your father or tribe achieves a 10th of what this great man has achieved the you can start talking

    1
    • Sugar

      September 2, 2015 at 10:54 am

      Thank you for all this information. I remember we had a copy of Ovation magazine where his crib was featured and several pictures of his big mansion on the island. I was young then but i remember drooling over the pictures and i saw Money money money. Exotic life, and the girls (Bims and her sister) were so young then. The had magnificient pink rooms……………..Cant describe it all. I wish i can still get a copy of that Ovation magazine

    • Kp

      September 2, 2015 at 12:37 pm

      U are very right!!!

    • Corolla

      September 2, 2015 at 12:52 pm

      I rem that Ovation.

    • Ty

      September 2, 2015 at 1:38 pm

      Once I read the blog, the ovation magazine of his house just clicked. I use to wonder why they never mention his name on the list of billionaires though.

    • FP

      September 2, 2015 at 2:47 pm

      You left out the fact that he is the Oluwo (Chief priest of the Ogboni confratanity) and he was very proud of it. first picture says it all cuz he is in full ogboni regalia (Shaki) in the picture. and even ordinary ogboni men would not wear this type of shaki.
      yes he was respectable, had more money that most noisy African millionaires can dream of nowadays and he was not just a Nigerian but a true african contributing his best to the continent while feeding fat off his hard work. respect to him and may his soul rest in peace. indeed, a lot of Nigerians will not know this great African man.

    • Naijatalk

      September 2, 2015 at 3:10 pm

      How do you know the person ‘s tribe. What if the person isn’t African. That last bit negated whatever you were trying to achieve with this here expose.

    • Adebobola Adegbuyi

      September 28, 2015 at 4:15 pm

      Please,kindly educate me. I like to know if this great Yoruba personality have any investment in Nigeria, his mother land. Thanks

  13. lolarae

    September 2, 2015 at 9:47 am

    some of his titles

    His Excellency, AMBASSADOR, CHIEF ANTONIO DEINDE FERNANDEZ.

    -His Imperial Highness Garsan Fulanin Kano (Kano State, Nigeria).

    -Baron of Dudley (England). -Grand Officier de l’Ordre National du Leopard (Grand Officer of the National Order of the Leopard, the Democratic Republic of Congo)

    -Grand Officier de l’Ordre du Merite Centrafricain (Grand Officer of the Order of Merit, Central African Republic).

    -Grand Officier de l’Ordre du Mono (Grand Officer of the Order of Mono, Togo).

    -Commandeur de l’Ordre National du Merite du Gabon (Commander of the National Order of Merit, Gabon).

    -Officier du Ouissam Alaouite (Officer of the Ouissam Alaouite, Morocco where the descendants of the Alaouite dynasty rule as kings. The present is King Sidi Mohammed VI)

  14. Abimbola

    September 2, 2015 at 10:08 am

    Popular Nigerian DJ Caise is also his Grandson. You should check out his tribute on instagram as well.

    • Fifi

      September 2, 2015 at 11:13 am

      Yes his mum Teju Phillips i think was the mans first child

  15. Bola

    September 2, 2015 at 10:12 am

    Lagosians with Portuguese names are descendants of those Africans that came from Brazil centuries ago when Slavery was abolished. Many settled in the Isale Eko area of Lagos and still retain their brazilian/Portuguese heritage. Lagos sef is a Portuguese name which means ‘Lakes’. So when you here Yorubas with surnames names like Dos Santos, Callisto, Dorego, Marinho etc you know they are those descendants.

  16. Taiwo

    September 2, 2015 at 10:52 am

    As he was an Oluwo, I cant wait to hear gist about his funeral rites

    • RIFF RAFF

      September 2, 2015 at 11:32 am

      Yes he was an ogboni high priest. Personally i am sick and tired of al these ogboni rituals. Rumor has it he was once the oga at the top of O….o.ni * runs away before someone shoots me*

  17. Fifi

    September 2, 2015 at 10:56 am

    What did he do in Nigeria? Did he build industries and create jobs, did he empower the next generation of millionaires,?

    • smh

      September 2, 2015 at 11:35 am

      Fifi,you should be asking your father that tho. does this man have two heads?before any of you shamelessly criticize pls make sure your parents are useful to Nigeria too.

      R.I.P to a great man and may his family be comforted!

    • Fifi

      September 2, 2015 at 1:15 pm

      My father(RIP) was useful to society and my mother still is, i in my own little corner know what impact i have in peoples lives, like i asked what did he build in Nigeria?

    • Nimra

      September 2, 2015 at 2:13 pm

      you’re really silly though. Fifi is right for asking! All these listings of his acquired wealth and tittles mean nothing if he did not impact his generation and the next with his influence by making life better.It is clear he was a hard worker, risk taker, adventurous man etc, but in the grand scheme of things those are not important if lives were not touched on a massive scale with his larger than life wealth. R.I.P Dende Fernadez, your death just reiterates the fact that we are moving dust in the wind. When the time comes, no amount of money, prayers, amassed wealth can keep anyone.lets us do what is important to us and if you believe in any God hold firm to your beliefs and do what is pleasing to your God. If you believe in the after life, work towards it. The Jesus of the Christian never had money, yet 2015 years later, He is undoubted the most talked about man that ever worked the earth, same with The prophet of the Muslims, Gandhi, Mandela, Abraham Lincoln, Rosa Parks etc.Why?because they impacted their generation and the generation after them immensely. Like I stated R.I.P sir, I hope his family would be able to bear this loss.

    • Ty

      September 2, 2015 at 1:41 pm

      So many people legitimate money makers ran for their life during the military regime

    • jide

      September 2, 2015 at 2:06 pm

      Don’t mind these buffons getting mad cos we are not drooling oover material things. He built mansion just like every other rich fool. Kini big deal? Is he feeding me? No. So why should I worship is cheap looking yemoja?

  18. brown-ice

    September 2, 2015 at 11:53 am

    Sincerely, never heard of him till now. Perhaps those who know or have heard of him are advanced. Yes I’m that young. May his family be comforted by the Almighty comforter this period

    • nacha

      September 2, 2015 at 2:16 pm

      How young are you? I am 16 and I have heard of him, so its not about the age. You probably don’t care about these type of things.After all hearing about him would have done nothing for you.

    • ATL's finest

      September 3, 2015 at 10:09 pm

      Well brown-ice probably don’t care .. U are 16 and I’m way older than U and I have never heard of him till now. So like Fifi asked what impact did he create apart from me reading all about his titles and Oga of Ogboni etc. RIP to him but @ Nacha sorry to burst your bubbles not everyone gives a hoot about such lives.

  19. Chogwu Akoh

    September 2, 2015 at 12:14 pm

    Personally, I always admired the man – not just for his wealth, but for his lifestyle.

    He was an international citizen, so his impact was felt across several nations. In spite of this, he kept a low profile. He certainly did not live cheap (a man of high taste), but he was never ‘in your face’ with his wealth. In addition, he remained a RESPECTABLE and HIGHLY RESPECTED Nigerian, who never got involved in activities that tarnished the image of our country.

    Even if he did not build hospitals, orphanages and schools, I respect him for maintaining his prestige as a distinguished Nigerian. You can only fully appreciate that when confronted with the disgrace Nigerians have been subjected to, over the actions of many other wealthy and not-so-wealthy Nigerians!

    My best wishes to the family he left behind.

  20. nnenne

    September 2, 2015 at 1:03 pm

    RIP to the great man.
    BTW, it’s amazing how Nigeria has so much oil merchant millionaires, but none of them is from the oil producing areas. . be it south, south or south east.
    I really see the true meaning of one Nigeria.
    IT LIES WITHIN THE OIL !!!!!
    Very, very FAIR.

    • Ada Nnewi

      September 2, 2015 at 1:13 pm

      You are the real MVP of Bigots!

    • Proud Tribalist,lol

      September 2, 2015 at 3:37 pm

      Ada nnewi how is she a bigot? Isn’t it the truth? Most of the oil billionaires or even oil millionaires are not from the oil producing states and it’s a factual statement. How is she a bigot for stating the obvious?

    • lolarae

      September 2, 2015 at 3:51 pm

      What is this illiterate saying this man was a billionaire before Nigeria struck oil in commercial quantity, in fact he was a billionaire when N1 was $1.
      He made his money of other african nations through precious stones and brokerage of deals
      Also please observe very well the Fulanis own the oil blocs with very few Yorubas
      But the oil business of refining abroad, ownership of vessels, down stream, midstream and oil services is majorly owned by Yorubas which is not a government factor should oil bloc ownership be reversed to Niger deltans it wont change the dominance of Yoruba businesses but in recent times there has been increased SS/SE presence which is good

  21. kole

    September 2, 2015 at 2:38 pm

    Lmao. If these comments are paining you so much, perhaps you should log off. We all can’t kiss billionaire yansh you know? Let’s see how much of his billioons they will bury with him.

  22. xag

    September 2, 2015 at 3:22 pm

    So the old crook is dead? Crafty fellow, this man was a job man of the old school. The father of packagers. Whatever you say about the man though, he had style and swagger. One of those who wrote his own legend and truly lived by it.

  23. Anonymous

    September 2, 2015 at 4:25 pm

    Human being

  24. kole

    September 2, 2015 at 4:50 pm

    Hehe Erelu Abiola must have lawyered up. She is gonna want some of this national cake. This sequel is going to be intriquing

    • Anon

      September 2, 2015 at 6:06 pm

      No way. Someone that disinherited her many years ago by placing adverts in all Nigerian newspapers. That was when she dropped the Fernandez name. The man was hard core. Zilch for her.

  25. Biola

    September 2, 2015 at 9:56 pm

    The ultimate question is where will he spend eternity?

    1
  26. Loola

    September 3, 2015 at 4:45 am

    We lived well, hope he makes it to heaven, and to evri one of us whr r u goin to spend eternity, wht u have done here on earth will determine whr u will spend eternity

  27. Naveah

    September 3, 2015 at 6:33 pm

    It is very very sad that with all that wealth all that people remember about him is that he was wealthy, had homes, yachts, multiple women, oil and coal mines etc. I’m sorry but that is a sad legacy. I hope I am wrong and that he did do much more with his blessings for the less fortunate. Sha, rest in peace and I wish you angelic accompaniment to the next life.

    1
  28. Ola

    September 8, 2015 at 8:02 am

    Chief Dehinde Fernandez is Nigerian reputable and respected business man with powerful contact all over the world, he is pan Africanist to core and also very proud Ogboni Abalaye, Chief Fernandez is Yoruba that their ancestor return back to Nigeria, after slavery abolition in Brazilian, like Aku people of Gambia, He is very smart business man, man of the people and we’ll connected. He understands secret of life, and he leaves very wonderful life, and he leaves his life the way he want, he owns house in the most expensive location in New York, Paris, Scotland, London,Kano, and many more. May is soul rest in peace

  29. oluwabukunmi

    September 16, 2015 at 8:54 pm

    For those asking why he bears the name fernadez? He’s lineage can be traced to Cuba (in other words his ancestors are from cuba) but he was born and groomed in lagos Nigeria.

  30. Adebobola Adegbuyi

    September 28, 2015 at 4:19 pm

    Please, kindly educate me about this great Yoruba personality. I like to know if he has any investment in Nigeria, his mother land. Like Dangota.

  31. john

    February 26, 2016 at 1:05 pm

    what about his son ?

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